HE went out to deliver a pizza but returned a hero having saved a man’s life.

Dejan Vukelic had just dropped off a takeaway when he saw a suicidal man teetering on the edge of Oxford’s Donnington Bridge.

For 45 minutes, he spoke to the man, who was distressed and refusing to talk to police, and eventually secured his safety.

Mr Vukelic, who was rewarded with a commendation from Thames Valley Police, was managing the Domino’s pizza parlour in Between Towns Road, Cowley, that night.

He had only gone on the delivery to chaperone a female driver.

The Barton resident said: “On the way back we were crossing Donnington Bridge and we noticed a guy on the other side of the fence on the bridge.

“There were two girls screaming and shouting and asking for help.

“I stopped and wanted to see what was happening. The girls were panicking, saying ‘grab him, pull him over’.

“I said to the girls to leave because they were really causing confusion, scaring the guy, and then I started talking to him.

“We talked to each other for 45 minutes and in the end managed to persuade him to come to safety.

“In between that police came and blocked both sides of the bridge and they wanted to take over, but the person didn’t want them to and I had to stay there while they supervised.

“He was really distressed. His brother and father died recently and he felt that his life was not worth living.

“My father had a stroke in October 2010 and was in a coma for a month so I tried to engage that story with him and tried to sympathise with him.

“I explained to him that life is the most important thing and he should look positively at the world around him.”

He added: “I was very scared because at that moment you think ‘what if he jumps?’, all sorts of things go through your head.

“As I was engaging with him I felt more comfortable I could talk him out of it, and I even offered him pizza.

“There were moments where I felt I was losing him and then I felt I was getting him back.”

The incident, which took place last May, helped Mr Vukelic scoop a national award for Domino’s employees last month.

The 34-year-old, who has gone on to become an area manager with the company, said: “It was a great feeling.

“To that point I just felt I had done my duty, you go to bed with a feeling you have done something great.

“On the awards night I don’t know how many people exactly were there, but they all stood up and clapped for two or three minutes and I really felt I had done something appreciated.”